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Sean Spence

Drosera and orchids

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Went for a drive to the Brisbane Ranges National Park today as the weather was great. Didn't expect to see much as it was a bit early and it has been (another) dry year, but did manage to locate a few things of interest.

Part of the park had been burnt earlier in the year and the Drosera whittakerii ssp. aberrans seemed to have appreciated it. Hundreds of white flowers could be seen throughout the area.

First, a shot of the burnt out area.

Bris_Ranges_280805.JPG

A range of images of flowering plants.

Drosera_whittakerii_ssp._aberrans1_Bris_Ranges_280805.JPG

Drosera_whittakerii_ssp._aberrans2_Bris_Ranges_280805.JPG

Drosera_whittakerii_ssp._aberrans3_Bris_Ranges_280805.JPG

Drosera_whittakerii_ssp._aberrans4_Bris_Ranges_280805.JPG

And to finish up, a few of the terrestrial orchids found for those interested.

Pterostylis concinna

Pterostylis_concinna1_280805.JPG

Pterostylis melogramma

Pterostylis_melogramma_Gisborne_280805.JPG

Pterostylis smardagyna

Pterostylis_smardagyna1_280805.JPG

Those 3 orchids catch insects with a trigger mechanism, but release them with a sac of pollen.

Also saw a number of other Drosera species but didn't bother to take any photos.

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Not sure of the exact requirements of Xanthorrhoea species but I can say that they never grow in wet areas. This spot is incredibly dry at the moment and spring hasn't even begun yet. The ground here is only ever damp at the wettest time of the year. It is very sandy and freely draining. With the drought conditions we've had over the past 15 years, I don't understand how the Drosera have survived at all.

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D. peltata var. foliosa were only in the rosetted stage- no upright stems beginning to form at all. D. auriculata were only around 5 cms tall. D. macrantha ssp. planchonii will probably flower tomorrow. I was surprised at how little the D. auriculata and peltata plants have grown up till now. The entire region was extremely dry. A bit disappointing really.

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Good to see the diversity of the habitats Sean..

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Hi Sean,

Wonderful photos as usual - I love the D.whittakeri ssp aberrans in particular, but the Pterostylis species are fascinating as well (I'm also interested in orchids, especially terrestrial species).

I've heard that Drosera whittakeri is supposed to be one of the easiest of the rosetted tuberous species to grow, so I'll have to try it sometime - especially in the form of ssp aberrans, with its obliging habit of forming extra tubers at the end of stolons - that's one I'll have to look out for seeds of.

Anyway, despite the drought conditions you described, I'm glad the plants have survived - shows you how resilient they are, but I fear they will have to be if the future predictions about human-accelerated global warming prove to be correct. :cry:

Thanks again for some wonderful pics! :D

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